Getting Started With Civil War Reenacting
If you're visiting this website, chances are that you're at least curious about the notion of becoming a reenactor.
Reenacting has so many benefits:
So how do you get started with reenacting?
We have provided this portion of our website to answer many of your questions and steer you to the best approach.
Your first step is to attend a reenactment. They are happening all over the country, many times each month. There are several websites that provide schedules of reenactments - our links page will list out many locations where you can find something happening in your area.
When you go to a reenactment, get there early so you can talk to to reenactors. These people love what they're doing and they love talking about it. They view themselves as historians and educators and you'll find that they are very open about answering your questions about the war and about the reenacting hobby. Talk to military and civilian reenactors and have your family members take part. As you speak with reenactors, ask for contact information (websites, flyers, etc.) - if you decide you want to become involved, this will help you get in touch with the unit you want to join.
Two things to remember about talking with reenactors:
First, these folks devote a lot of time and money to their hobby and they take it very seriously. Be respectful. For example, they don't have costumes, they have uniforms. If you show them some courtesy they'll be happy to give you all the information you could ask for.
Second, reenactors aren't just wearing uniforms. They're creating an impression, or an entire persona of someone who lived in the 1860s. So, if they use strange language or come across as cocky or aloof, remember that this is their impression. Just go along with it and you'll have fun!
After you walk around all the displays and talk with people, it's time to watch the battle. When you watch several hundred people engage in a mock battle, you get a real feel for how involved these people are in the hobby. You should pay attention to what the different people do on the battlefield. See how the battle is different for the infantry, artillery and cavalry. As you get a sense of what each type of unit does, you can better decide which type of unit you'd like to join.
Did the reenactment start a fire with you? Interested in learning more? That's your next step - learning.
First, you should start to develop your knowledge of the Civil War. We have provided an extensive list of books, DVDs, TV shows and magazines that will help you expand your expertise on the war. You will be amazed when you start to learn about what really took place during the War Between the States. The scale and significance of this of this war is perhaps grander than any other war in our history.
If you live anywhere near a Civil War battlefield, you should make a pilgrimage to it. Learn what happened at that battlefield, then go and see it. The more you know about that specific battlefield, the better you will be able to appreciate it.
You should also communicate with the unit you would like to join. They can help you get started by answering your questions, helping you find the uniform and equipment items you need. Let them help you with these questions and you'll save a lot of time and money in the process. You should also learn the terminology of reenacting and understand the impression guidelines for your particular unit.
Once you assemble the gear and have your education process underway, you're ready to jump in!
Participate. Get to your first reenactment early and ask a lot of questions. The other people know you are new to the hobby and they'll be happy to help. You'll make a lot of mistakes and have to learn many things, but everyone else had to go through the same process.
Follow these steps and you'll be an expert reenactor in no time. Use
the resources on our website to help you develop your knowledge - and
if you're in north Texas, consider us as your reenactment family. Look
over the About the 13th Texas Cavalry page and drop us a note when you're
ready to talk . . . and prepare for the exhilaration of "facing
the elephant" with the 13th - we'd love to have you in our group.
About Civil War Reenacting: